Pedigree Profile: Smarty Jones a Smart Choice

Some Kentucky Derby pundits have questioned Smarty Jones' pedigree due to the speed influences of his sire, Elusive Quality, and broodmare sire, Smile. Their problem lies in the fact they haven't scratched much beyond the surface.

The Pennsylvania-bred colt continues to climb the Derby rankings based on one simple fact: no one has beaten him yet. A winner of all five of his starts, Smarty Jones' latest conquest came with a 3 1/4-length score in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 20. His winning time of 1:42.07 was the fastest running of the race since 1987. The win makes him a likely favorite for the $1-million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10 and the only candidate to try for a $5-million bonus should he tack on the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbys to his resume.

Smarty Jones was bred by Roy and Pat Chapman's Someday Farm near New Hope, Pa. The mating of Elusive Quality and their mare, I'll Get Along, was advised by the late trainer Bob Camac. I'll Get Along was purchased by Camac for the Chapmans at the 1993 Keeneland September yearling sale for $40,000.

Camac, a long-time leading trainer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey was killed in 2001, and it was his loss that led the Chapmans to divest most of their Thoroughbred holdings. I'll Get Along, the dam of Smarty Jones, brought $130,000 while in foal to Doneraile Court at the 2001 Keeneland November sale.

Elusive Quality, Smarty Jones' sire, has sired 13 other stakes winners from just two crops to race, a remarkable feat considering his stud career started at with a modest $10,000 stud fee his first year. The son of Gone West was the leading first-crop sire in North America for 2002, however, his top earner, Elusive City, was later disqualified from a pair of wins and when his earnings were taken out, Elusive Quality fell to third on the list.

The fact he hasn't sired a true "two-turn" horse to date must be taken with a grain of salt considering the limited number of horses he has in training. Elusive Quality stands at Gainsborough Farm near Versailles. His stud fee now is $50,000. On the track, Elusive Quality set a world record of 1:31 3/5 in the one-mile Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 1998 and also ran second to Honour and Glory in the seven-furlong King's Bishop Stakes (gr. II) in 1997.

Gone West, the sire of Elusive Quality, has sired more than 70 stakes winners in his illustrious stud career, including Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Commendable, Came Home, who won the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic in his 3-year-old campaign in 2001, West By West, Grand Slam, Mr. Greeley, and Proud Citizen.

I'll Get Along, a daughter of champion sprinter Smile, won 12 of 39 starts and earned more than $275,000. While the majority of her races were around one turn, she did win the $35,000 William Parker Stakes at Meadowlands in December of 1995 at a mile and 70 yards. I'll Get Along is a half-sister to stakes winner Cowboy Cop (by Silver Deputy). All three of his stakes scores, including the Gravesend and Hallendale (both gr. III) Handicaps, were won sprinting.

Going in straight tail-female line, Smarty Jone's seventh dam is La Troienne, the mother of all blue-hen broodmares in North America. More than 800 stakes winners can be traced back through her bloodlines, and she appears twice in Smarty Jones pedigree. La Troienne is the fourth dam of Glowing Tribute (dam of 1993 Derby winner Sea Hero), who is the dam of Elusive Quality's broodmare sire, Hero's Honor.

Don't Worry About Me, Smarty Jones' second dam, was a stakes winner at 3 in 1986, winning the six-furlong My Dear Girl Stakes at Hialeah. However, delving deeper into Smarty Jones's female line, the stamina influences start to run a little deeper.

Smarty Jones' fourth dam, the Ogden Phipps and Wheatley Stable-bred Stolen Base (by stamina influence Herbager), was stakes-placed and produced three other stakes winners, all at a mile or longer. Basie (by In Reality) was the most accomplished of the bunch, winning the 1 1/4 miles Delaware Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in 1985. Stolen Base placed in six stakes including a second-place finish in the Orchid Handicap (now gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park.

Smarty Jones' pedigree may have the appearance of "speed," but he does have a Dosage Index of 3.40, which is below the supposed 4.00 or less guideline when selecting Kentucky Derby contenders.

Sire: ELUSIVE QUALITY, b, 1993. Raced 3 yrs, 20 sts, 9 wins, $413,284. Won Jaipur H (gr. IIIT), Poker H (gr. IIIT); 2nd King's Bishop S (gr. II); 3rd Tom Fool H (gr. II).

Lifetime: 2 crops, 160 foals, 106 rnrs (66%), 64 wnrs (40%), 34 2yo wnrs (21%), 14 sw (9%), 1.93 AEI, 1.59 CI, 119 sale yrlgs, avg $68,552, 1.4 TNA.

In 2004: 2 sw, 4 sale yrlgs, avg $37,000.

1st dam: I'LL GET ALONG, b, 1992. Bred by Frances A. Genter Stable (Ky.). Raced 5 yrs, 39 sts, 12 wins, $276,969. Won William Parker S, Alma North H; 2nd Veiled Look S, Contrary Rose S, Office Queen S, George F. Hammerschmidt Memorial H (R); 3rd Princess Rooney S, Light Hearted S, Moonlight Jig S (R). Dam of 2 named foals, 2 rnrs, 2 wnrs, 1 sw. ($40,000, 1993 keesep yrlg; $130,000, 2001 keenov, Doneraile Court).

2000: Be Happy My Love, b f, by Formal Gold. Raced 1 yr, 8 sts, 1 win, $15,435.

2001: SMARTY JONES, ch c, by Elusive Quality.

At 2: Won Pennsylvania Nursery S (R).

At 3: Won Rebel S, Southwest S, Count Fleet S.

2002: F, by Doneraile Court. Died 2002.

2003: B c, by Hennessy.

Broodmare sire: SMILE, dkb/br, 1982-1997. Sire of 78 dams of 268 foals, 167 rnrs (62%), 108 wnrs (40%), 27 2yo wnrs (10%), 1.09 AEI, 1.36 CI; 6 sw.

2nd dam: DONT WORRY BOUT ME, b, 1983-1999. Bred by Frances A. Genter Stable (Fla.). Raced 3 yrs, 22 sts, 5 wins, $95,562. Won My Dear Girl S (R); 3rd Rose S. Dam of COWBOY COP (c, Silver Deputy; $268,650, Won Gravesend H, gr. III, Hallandale H, gr. III, DRC Breeders' Cup Sprint H). Granddam of MANZOTTINA.